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Tips for Starting the Semester with Blackboard

The following list of reminders and links can help answer frequently asked questions new faculty, teaching staff, and TAs may have, as they request course space and get ready to develop their courses in Blackboard:

Requesting a new course on Blackboard

After logging into, click the "Services" tab at the top of the page, follow by "Blackboard Faculty Tools". Click "My Courses" and then follow the links on the displayed window. (Instructions and step-by-step tutorials for requesting your course are also available.) In order to request a Blackboard course, you must be the "instructor of record” for the course in the MyNIU system.

Course requests are instantaneous, and you will receive an email confirmation. However, it takes a day for someone newly-assigned as instructor of record in MyNIU to have permission to request their course in Blackboard.

Combining course sections

If you are teaching dual level courses (e.g. 400 and 500 or cross-listed courses) or multiple sections of the same course, you may want to combine your sections into one master course.

"Course combine requests" are also instantaneous, and you must also be the "instructor of record" in both sections to be combined.

Making courses "available" to students

Once your Blackoard course is set up as you like it, you may make it "available" to your students. Otherwise, students will not be able to see your course.

Blackboard workshops

Faculty Development and Instructional Design Center Center regularly schedules workshops on using Blackboard for teaching purposes, and the monthly program schedules can be found under Quick Links at

For those who are not able to attend a workshop, there is also now a Self-Paced Blackboard I workshop consisting of short video demonstrations, available at

Answers to other Frequently Asked Blackboard-related questions can be found at: and Blackboard-related help information can be found at:

For login and password-related questions, please refer faculty to the IT Service Desk at 815-753-8100 or, and for other teaching-related Blackboard questions, faculty can submit questions at

Last updated: 4/24/2017